Conversational platforms enable the creation of user interfaces that imitate interaction with a human being. They allow users to interact with machines via inputs such as voice, text, touch, or gesture. Sophisticated conversational platforms utilize the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help customers communicate with applications, websites, and devices.

Conversational platforms help to build and deploy solutions for automating customer services, customer engagement, and human-computer interactions through Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Speech Generation. They enable users to communicate with an organization using their own words and terminology. They help enterprises in building a close connection with customers through customized interactions and help the organization collect important business information.

Conversational platforms include chatbots used in websites & applications, interactive voice response (IVR), FAQ bots and virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortona, and Google Home. Technology utilized by these platforms includes Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), Advanced Dialogue Management, and Machine Learning (ML).

Why are Conversational Platforms Important?

Technological advancement, and the availability of products that require constant service, are increasing customers’ wants and expectations.  They approach contact centres for multiple reasons – some of which are straightforward, while some are complicated. But they always want faster and simpler ways to engage with the organization.

Contact centers create a channel that helps customers communicate with the organization. They are a business division within an organization that manages inbound and outbound customer communication over multiple channels like telephone, web, chat, email, messaging applications, and social media. Traditional contact centres equipped with IVR systems are useful for customers with phone-based self-service. Conventional touch-tone and dialogue-based IVR systems with complex and long menu trees, usually fail to meet the needs of tech-savvy customers.

Contact centres often face problems with large amounts of data they have. Customer service executives receive several calls on multiple phone lines that are recorded by the contact centre every day.  Listening to these call recordings to gain business insight is unrealistic and impractical because the volume of work cannot be handled by human employees. Conversational platforms, on the other hand, help to resolve customer issues, track customer engagements, and capture interaction/ performance data through an analysis of call recordings.

Another problem faced by contact centres is that they invest time and money in recruiting and training staff and putting the right tools in place for agents. Despite this, they have long call waiting time for customers, due to agents having to deal with limited access to information which results in poor customer experience.

Conversational platforms were developed to solve this exact problem. With all the data gathered from recorded calls, chat interactions, and emails, organizations have a strategic asset. To understand customer intent within the conversation, ML models can be trained using this strategic asset.  AI and ML capabilities also help in improving responses for future conversations based on previous errors. Conversational platforms are able to handle customers’ queries more accurately and respond in a natural way.

Using a conversational platform with NLP, ML, and other forms of intelligence, the complicated and time-wasting menus are replaced, and customers get convenient, personalized, and frustration-free self-service. Conversational Platforms help live agents by providing instant information to assist callers and reduce average call handling time. In addition, live agents become required less often, which allows organizations to increase labor productivity and decrease costs.

In order to provide better customer experience and resolve traditional contact centre concerns, organizations are now relying on chatbots and virtual agents that provide 24/7 self-service to customers. They become the first point-of-contact for customers and reduce live agents’ work by addressing customer queries. By doing this, they are not only helping in improving customer experience but also make contact centre functionality much better.